NORTHERN BURLINGTON COUNTY REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
Safe Return Plan for September 2021:
August 12th update:
12 August, 2021 / FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & Answers: Please note guidelines will change as guidelines from state and federal agencies adjust to current events.
Q: How will Google Classroom be used in the FY’22 school year?
A: All teachers will use Google Classroom to disseminate course content, provide feedback, and organize assignments.
Classroom instruction WILL NOT be live streamed via Google Meet.
Q: Please explain why masks won’t be required for unvaccinated students.
A: Masks are required for all students as per the Executive Order 251. Prior to the issuance of Executive Order 251, the District was prepared to implement a policy that allowed parents to make the choice regarding whether or not their child should wear a mast in school. Executive order 251 requires all students, educators, staff, and visitors to wear face masks inside of school buildings, regardless of vaccination status, for the start of the 2021-2022 school academic year. The guidelines are:
“All public, private, and parochial preschool programs and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools (collectively “school districts”), must maintain a policy regarding mandatory use of face masks by staff, students, and visitors in the indoor portion of the school district premises, except in the following circumstances:
- When doing so would inhibit the individual’s health, such as when the individual is exposed to extreme heat indoors;
- When the individual has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face masks without assistance;
- When a student’s documented medical condition or disability, as reflected in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Educational Plan pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, precludes use of a face mask;
- When the individual is under two (2) years of age;
- When the individual is engaged in activity that cannot physically be performed while wearing a mask, such as eating or drinking, or playing a musical instrument that would be obstructed by a face mask;
- When the individual is engaged in high-intensity aerobic or anaerobic activity;
- When a student is participating in high-intensity physical activities during a physical education class in a well-ventilated location and able to maintain a physical distance of six feet from all other individuals; or When wearing a face mask creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task. “
Q: My concern with the contact tracing process is how vaccinated and unvaccinated students are treated differently when they are equal in many ways. When I read:
- Non-vaccinated students who come into close contact with a positive COVID case must quarantine and be out of school and in-person activities, like athletics and performance groups, for 10-14 days. This is the case even if that close contact person has no symptoms.
- In the same scenario, fully vaccinated students who are in close contact with a positive case, provided they remain asymptomatic, do not need to quarantine and will not need to miss any classes or after-school activities.
I felt this was very discriminatory toward non vaccinated students.
A: NB respects and understands the wishes of all students, parents and guardians. The protocols outlined above are directed from the State of New Jersey COVID information Hub. Here is the exact wording that directly applies:
“Individuals who are fully vaccinated or who have clinically recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months do NOT need to quarantine after having close contact with someone with COVID-19, as long as they remain asymptomatic. However, there are exceptions for individuals living inhigh-risk congregate care settings. For more information, see NJ DOH's reommended minimum quarantine time frames.”
Q: If a student is not vaccinated and comes in contact with somebody who tests positive for COVID, and is required to quarantine, will there be remote learning available so the student does not have to miss school during the quarantine?
A: Yes. NJDOE has mandated that all public schools prepare to return to full time in-person instruction, and stop offering a remote option to students. However, the DOE has advised that districts should be prepared to offer remote or virtual instruction to students who are excluded based on the exclusion criteria established by the DOH and the CDC, including testing positive for COVID-19. Accordingly, virtual instruction is not altogether prohibited for the 2021-2022 school year, but rather should only be used when students are excluded in accordance with the established exclusion criteria. The exact guidelines are discussed in The Road Forward (page 13), At NB, students who are excluded based on the current criteria, will be offered academic support.
When a single student is excluded, NB is planning to use the current “homebound instruction” model that has been in place for many years. Home instruction is initiated once the student has been absent for ten (10) consecutive days or twenty (20) cumulative days in the school year. This support will include one hour of instruction per week for each core subject.Prior to the required home instruction, students would continue following along with their coursework as they would in other years during any short term (less than 10 days) absence.
20 July 2021 / FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & Answers: Please note guidelines will change as guidelines from state and federal agencies adjust to current events.
Q: When my child comes to NB for school each day, what pre screening protocols do you anticipate will be in place for September 2021? Will the district continue with the temperature screening?
A: At this time, the board and its administration are closely monitoring the changing guidelines and regulations for schools with a particular focus on the CDC, the Department of Health, and the State regulations. NB’s plan currently states that “the district will continue to enforce pre screening prior to the arrival to school.” However, at this time, NB’s Safe Return Plan (SRP) does not include student, faculty, or visitor temperature checks each morning. We do anticipate some form of health screening prior to the students arrival to campus.
Q: In looking ahead to the start of school in September, I am curious to know if the district will be following the guidance released by the CDC regarding mask wearing in schools. As I am sure you know, the CDC recommends all unvaccinated students and teachers wear masks, and make mask use universally required if you have difficulty monitoring or enforcing mask policies that are not universal.
A: NB adopted its “Safe Return Plan” (SRP) at the June Board of Education Meeting and this SRP is posted on our web page ( www.nburlington.com). With regard to face coverings, the current state directives require their use on bus transportation but they will be optional elsewhere. The district is prepared to pivot in the event directives are issued requiring face coverings in schools.